When was the last time you had a vacation? Work can be stifling. Sometimes, we just feel like packing up and jetting off to somewhere – anywhere – out of Singapore for a short trip. Alas, there just doesn’t seem to be enough public holidays. (Petition for a 4-day work week, anyone?) Even if we were given all the time in the world, who here really has the means to fund an extravagant one-month trip? Oho – hold that exasperated breath. Before you resign yourself to a life of late-night hustling and a cycle endless work emails, hear me out. How about embarking on some short getaways from Singapore for when you really need that break?
Brief in duration and easy on the wallet, short getaways from Singapore are a great way to unwind and recharge. Some of these trips can be as short as half a day. If you’ve got a bit more time, some short getaways from Singapore can take the form of a more relaxing weekend trip. We’ve compiled 13 of the best short getaways from Singapore for you. Read on to be inspired!
1. Johor Bahru, Malaysia
When we’re talking about short getaways from Singapore, it’d be almost blasphemous to leave out Johor Bahru. Situated just a short drive away, Johor Bahru is arguably one of the most convenient destinations for short getaways from Singapore. If you do not have a private car, you can easily access Johor Bahru via public buses or even trains! Easily covered within a day, Johor Bahru is the perfect destination for a quick weekend getaway from Singapore.
A Mecca for Shopaholics
Given the fantastic currency exchange rate, things are a lot cheaper over the causeway. If you’ve ever wanted to shop till you drop – Johor Bahru is where you should go. Clothes, accessories, bags, shoes… you can find all these and more in a whole range of malls in Johor Bahru. Some of the malls in Johor Bahru that many Singaporeans flock to like moths to a flame include Aeon Mall and City Square Mall.
“What if I’m not a huge fan of shopping?” you ask? Fret not, there’s a ton of other fun activities to do in Johor Bahru besides shopping. For avid film lovers, why not catch a movie? Many of the malls in Johor Bahru are home to really comfortable theatres equipped with impeccable sound systems.
If you’re a foodie, rejoice! Johor Bahru is home to some of the loveliest cafes that serve up really tantalising meals. After tucking into a delicious lunch, why not relax with a soothing full-body massage at any of the various massage parlours you can find dotting the streets of Johor Bahru? Indeed, Johor Bahru is one of the best destinations for some much-needed self-pampering.
Basically, in Johor Bahru, you can indulge in the activities that you enjoy doing in Singapore but at a discounted rate. And, more importantly, you’re out of Singapore! You’d probably heard of the saying “Out of sight, out of mind.” I say: “Out of Singapore, worries and responsibilities are out of mind!”
2. Desaru, Malaysia
Not too keen on shopping, but would rather like to unwind on a picturesque beach? People often associate beach vacations to exotic destinations like Hawaii. But I’ll let you on a secret today: You don’t have to jet off halfway around the globe to Hawaii for that perfect beach vacation. Short getaways from Singapore can gift you that idyllic beach vacation too. If the phrase “vacation” conjured up an image of sandy beaches and clear blue seas, Desaru should definitely be on your radar.
Desaru is located along the east coast of Johor Bahru, just an hour’s drive away from Johor Bahru City. Its prime location makes it super convenient for short getaways from Singapore. Primarily a beach resort, Desaru is the perfect place to unwind and soak in the sceneries. Here, pristine beaches stretch for ages on end. The gentle lapping of the waves against the coast is the perfect lullaby for those seeking to rest their tired bodies.
For those seeking a little thrill, Desaru has you covered as well. You can try your hand at parasailing as well as a whole host of other exciting water sports.
3. Langkawi, Malaysia
Nature lovers planning their short getaways from Singapore: You’d definitely want to put Langkawi down on your itinerary. Located off the coast of Penang, Malaysia, Langkawi is a beautiful island teeming with some of the best wonders of Mother Nature. Particularly, Langkawi is home to a pretty extensive area of mangroves. Be sure to check them out when you’re there.
If you’re an avid trekker, short getaways from Singapore won’t feel complete until you’ve hiked a mountain. Why not try your hand at conquering Gunung Raya, the highest mountain in Langkawi? Soaring at a height of 881 meters, the mountain guarantees a spectacular view of the island.
Langkawi is just a 1 hour and 30-minute flight from Singapore so you can easily jet off for a quick weekend trip.
4. Komodo Island, Indonesia
True to its namesake, Komodo Island is home to the magnificent Komodo Dragons. These fearsome creatures roam freely around the island.
Besides the opportunity to view these cool animals, you can also indulge in various water sports too! Surrounded by clear turquoise waters, Komodo Island is perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving. Underwater, you can feast your ideas on the wondrous coral reefs and a multitude of marine creatures.
If you’re looking for short getaways from Singapore that allow you to make a deeper connection with Mother Nature, Komodo Island is a great option.
5. Penang, Malaysia
Just a 1h 30min flight from Singapore, Penang makes for an ideal destination for short getaways from Singapore. Penang is a lovely eclectic mix of the modern and the old. At George Town, the state capital of Penang, you’ll be astounded by the amazing mash-up of British colonial architecture and traditional Asian houses.
Additionally, Penang is also famous for its street murals. Notably, the “children on a bicycle” mural is especially well-known. Indeed, Penang is simply a treasure trove of beautiful art and architecture. This destination is ideal for a short trip from Singapore. So, get your cameras out and start snapping away!
6. Bintan, Indonesia
Planning some short getaways from Singapore with your family? Undoubtedly, Bintan is a long-time family favourite destination. Accessible by a short boat ride, Bintan’s relaxed, laidback atmosphere offers a complete change from the typically high-strung atmosphere in Singapore. Here, you can chill with your family in large villas. Dip your toes into the warm sand at many of Bintan’s serene beaches. Treat yourself to a spa in one of their many resorts.
Indeed, if you’re seeking soothing short getaways from Singapore, Bintan is where you should go.
7. Bali, Indonesia
Does Bali even need any further introduction? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are that you’re already pretty well acquainted with Bali. Indeed, Bali has consistently been one of the most popular destinations for short getaways from Singapore.
Grab a drink and chill at one of the many lively bars in Bali. Go hiking at a majestic forested volcanic mountain. Envelope yourself in mindfulness at one of Bali’s many yoga and meditation retreats. There’s simply so much to do in Bali!
8. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok – the city that never sleeps. This high energy city is the perfect destination to get you excited and recharged! Home to some of the best street food, foodies will never go hungry in Bangkok. Tom yum soup, Thai boat noodles, sweet sticky mango rice, refreshing Thai milk tea… the list of delicious must-eats stretches on forever. You can and should definitely eat your heart out in the food capital of Thailand!
Besides being a paradise for food-lovers, Bangkok will also make any self-respecting shopaholic swoon with delight. From the more extravagant Siam Paragon mall to the well-known MBK and Platinum malls, Bangkok is a shopping mecca. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices when you step into any of Bangkok’s famed malls.
“Heaven is a place on Earth,” Belinda Carlisle once famously crooned. I have to say she’s right. Heaven is a place on Earth; specifically, it’s Bangkok. If your idea of the perfect quick weekend trips from Singapore includes eating, drinking and shopping to your heart’s content—Bangkok is for you.
9. Krabi, Thailand
Krabi is easily one of the most relaxing places on Earth. Characterised by majestic outcrops of limestone, sandy beaches and dense mangrove forests, Krabi is a picture of tranquillity. In addition, there are also about a hundred offshore islands in Krabi. You can easily spend a day island-hopping around the area.
Short getaways from Singapore should revitalise you, and trust me. A trip to Krabi will leave you returning to Singapore feeling more refreshed than ever!
10. Halong Bay, Vietnam
Not sick of limestone cliffs yet? If Krabi amazed you, Halong Bay will blow your mind. Halong Bay is best known for its massive collection of sheer limestone cliffs. These massive structures rise stoically above the waters. The scenery is stunning and very, very humbling. You can opt for a day trip or stay overnight in a boat to fully soak in the wonders of nature. Definitely a must-try for a quick weekend getaway from Singapore!
11. Siam Reap, Cambodia
A resort town in Northwestern Cambodia, Siam Reap is a popular tourist destination. Notably, many flock to Siam Reap to visit the historical ruins of Angkor Wat. A massive cultural and historical icon, a trip to Siam Reap will be deeply fulfilling.
12. Lombok, Indonesia
Are you an adventurous traveller? Do you have a thirst for exploring the unknown? Why not deviate from the norm when planning your short getaways from Singapore? Lombok, Indonesia is an exciting destination that’s a little off the well-trodden path.
While many tourists flock to Bali annually, Lombok has been given relatively less attention. Just a short ferry ride away from Bali, Lombok offers beaches just as beguiling. Furthermore, Lombok is also much quieter and peaceful compared to Bali.
The star highlight of Lombok is definitely its magnificent Mount Rijani. The second highest mountain in Indonesia, Mount Rijani’s beauty is simply captivating. At you reach its peak, you’ll be enthralled by the spectacular sight of a giant crater filled to the brim with tranquil waters. For an added zest to your short trips from Singapore, why not consider a night by the huge crater? You didn’t read that wrong. Yes, you can sleep by the crater rim under a blanket of stars. It’s definitely a unique and interesting experience that’ll make for a captivating story!
13. Hanoi, Vietnam
Last on our list of short getaways from Singapore but definitely not the least: Hanoi. The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi guarantees a trip full of excitement. From historical museums to bustling streets of the Old Quarter, Hanoi simply bursts with life.
Hanoi is also well-loved for its incredible street food so be sure to sample some! Fan favourites include Bun Cha (grilled pork and rice noodles) and Pho (soup noodles).
Life can be hectic. We all need some short getaways from Singapore at times. Why not consider one of these destinations for your next trip?
What are your favourite quick weekend getaways from Singapore? Let us know in the comments below!
Also, here are some useful lifestyle tips and articles for better living in Singapore.